Beer Review:  Mason’s 30th Anniversary Bourbon Barrel Aged Bourbon Screaming Eagle

This my weekly column of beer reviews. Each week I’ll be giving a beer a thorough review and letting you know what I thought of it. This week’s beer is a 4.5% IPA from Maine’s Zephyr brewing company. Zephyr’s slogan is “The finest craft beer for the discerning craft beer drinker”. I was lucky enough to have a visit from the brewery’s owner, Jeremy Zephyr, last week and got to try a variety of beers and chat about craft beer.

 

Beer Name:Cauldron DIPA
ABV 7.70
Style: American Double / Imperial IPA
Appearance: 4
Aroma: 4.5
Palate: 4
Taste: 4.5
Overall: 4
Reviewer: johnmichaelsen
Review: According to the website, the style for the Caldera Cauldron changes every year. The current release is a DIPA, which frankly is the only cauldron I’m familiar with (it was an IPA/DIPA the last time I ordered a cauldron at the horsebrass several years back). In any event… at the Horse Brass yesterday. The beer pours an orange copper color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is all hoppy IPA goodness, showcasing a huge aroma of dry citrus, pine and sandlewood. The flavor profile replicates the nose pretty closely in this West Coast all the way DIPA. This DIPA is not for the faint of heart and is a bit much even for a hophead like myslf. The finish is quite dry and hoppy, and there’s barely enough sweet malt to balance and hold up the avalanche of hoppy bitterness in this beer. Mouthfeel is actually fairly light, with a long, persistentely bitter finish. Drinkability is good, with the alcohol barely noticeable in this well crafted beer. Still, this beer is so hugely hoppy/bitter, it’s really hard for me to imagine ordering more than a single glass. Regardless, this is a very impressive beer from the folks at Caldera.

 

Beer Name:Caldera Ginger Beer
ABV 4.70
Style: Herbed / Spiced Beer
Appearance: 3.5
Aroma: 3.5
Palate: 4
Taste: 4
Overall: 3.5
Reviewer: Reidrover
Review: 22 oz bottle from “Lifesource” Salem. $3.95 Nice golden clear beer body with a nice sized frothy/creamy white head. Ok

aromas..mainlly a bit of ginger speice and some bready malt..simple nice

Taste very nice indeed..nice spicy ginger backed with slightly caramel maltiness..simple again but i like .

Liked the mouthfeel of this one..very forward carbonation which helps the ginger effect and a lingering ginger in the after taste.

Overall a simple ginger brew .I liked it

 

Beer Name:Caldera Oatmeal Stout
ABV 7.20
Style: Oatmeal Stout
Appearance: 2.5
Aroma: 1.5
Palate: 2.5
Taste: 2
Overall: 2
Reviewer: RedDiamond
Review: Caldera presents yet another circumstance where the brewery does not operate a brewpub, doesnt bottle their beers, and is located 300 miles from my home. To review their beers I traveled to their hometown of Ashland, OR and drank at the Ashland Creek Bar and Grill. This may have been a mistake. Though I had other reasons to visit Ashland, its disappointing (to say the least) to travel 300 miles and be served a spoiled beer. Both the Oatmeal Stout and Ashland Amber were of poor quality at the Ashland Creek Bar and Grill. In the case of the Oatmeal Stout, a nice measure of cream and a wayward thread of mint were marred by a sulfuric smell and likely bacterial infection. Though I cant say for certain, my best guess is that the house tap lines were something other than sanitized. I will attempt to revisit and re-evaluate this beer. But for the time being, its important to ask a pertinent question about quality control. Caldera is a 10 bbl microbrewery in a small town. How much responsibility do they have towards assuring that taps serving their product in their hometown are kept reasonably clean and free of bacterial encroachment? My answer to this question is that the brewery does have some responsibility to assure quality pours in its own hometown. This is especially so when they operate no pub of their own. Not only does this effort protect the consumer from being served a spoiled beer, but the enforcement of quality control measures at the point of consumption simply makes good business sense. Till then, theres nothing I really care say about this beer other than to wish whoever pursues it greater luck than I had at Ashland Creek.

 


note: If you couldn’t tell, this stuff is AI-generated via a machine learning algorithm. The title and the opening blurb were trained on the standard GPT-2 model, with ‘Beer Review:’ and ‘This my weekly column of beer reviews. ‘ given as prompts. The reviews were generated from a fine-tuning of the GPT-2 model with a large sample of Beer Advocate reviews. I selected from the saved samples of these and put this post together. 

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Beer Review:  Citra De Mango by JM Gulf

This my weekly column of beer reviews. I’ll try to do a review every day, but it’s not a sure thing. As usual, you can find the full review here . A review of the Krombacher Weisse will come later this week.
First thing’s first: My first review in this column was a St. Louis Cardinals post-season beer. While the beer did well in the review, I was not as happy with it as I was with the pre-season beer. My second review in this column was a I.P.A. from a brewery in St. Louis. The I.P.A. was good, but not spectacular.

 

Beer Name:Dead Man’s @ Miller Park
ABV 9.50
Style: American Barleywine
Appearance: 4
Aroma: 3.5
Palate: 3
Taste: 3
Overall: 3
Reviewer: alleykatking
Review:

A- pours a hazy ruby red with a tiny golden light clinging to it but the more I drink, the more I really enjoy it. I was thinking I WAS through the beer with the bubbles, but it’s still good. 500ml bottle pour into a Weizen glass

The aroma is like a carbonated mousse cake covered in cream and milk. The nose is very faint but very pleasing. Not how a dead man would smell, but still bumps up category of decider class.

The taste is like a beer with an epiphany and a bottle of hell. Biscuit sugar, some fizzy carbonation, and a bit of the 2nd grade alcohol.

The mouthfeel is decent. It’s definitely more mouthfeel here than a regular Dead Lager. Fizzy carbonation with a bit of the 2nd grade alcohol.

The drinkability is good. I noticed this one is good for a while and then it just hit me.

This is not like the Dead Lager but it’s still good. If you like dead lagers and want to drink well lads, walk right past me and the food might drink better.

 

Beer Name:Cobalt
ABV 8.40
Style: American Malt Liquor
Appearance: 4
Aroma: 4
Palate: 3.5
Taste: 3.5
Overall: 3.5
Reviewer: GBollett
Review:

Wonderful (if not weird) appearance in the glass at Bottomless Bistro. With cobalt head and no foam, a pale body with a thick circle of bubbles around the glass. aroma with a corn smokiness to it.

The taste was sweeter than expected. Just as you would expect, it had a very smooth and sweet taste.

The mouthfeel was a little over-carbonated. Like a cobalt (I’m a sucker), I love a high ABV lager. If I see a cobalt beer in a bottle it will probably be this one. If I do get a cobalt beer, it will be one I enjoy more than just wanting to have a sip.

 

Beer Name:Nitro Kriek
ABV 5.10
Style: Dortmunder / Export Lager
Appearance: 4.5
Aroma: 4
Palate: 4
Taste: 5
Overall: 4
Reviewer: rfoguel
Review: Sources are not exactly certain, but the beer is presumably beer from a “Nitro brewery”. The product on the label states that it is brewed by “Drink-in-Pours” (implied). This would seem to be a good way to describe their beer.

The beer pours a slightly murky brown with an off-white head. It has a bit of a strong smell. There are also some organic parts in the aroma.

There is a little bit of aroma in the taste as well. There is a slight fruitiness that is great.

There is a little bit of a fruitiness in the mouthfeel as well. You can smell the yeast in the beer.

The drinkability is good. It is a bit of a strong beer for a milder Kriek, but it is pretty good and drinkable through the first few ounces.

It is in between a pale and a barley beer. It looks good. This is a good Kriek, I could have a few more. It would be a good choice for the busy Kriek fan.

 


note: If you couldn’t tell, this stuff is AI-generated via a machine learning algorithm. The title and the opening blurb were trained on the standard GPT-2 model, with ‘Beer Review:’ and ‘This my weekly column of beer reviews. ‘ given as prompts. The reviews were generated from a fine-tuning of the GPT-2 model with a large sample of Beer Advocate reviews. I selected from the saved samples of these and put this post together. 

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Beer Review:  A Full Boosted Big Room Bomb!

This my weekly column of beer reviews. Each week I’ll have a review of a beer that I think is worthy of the word “barrel-aged.” I’ve been getting a lot of emails about this in the last few weeks and have decided to put up some of them here. If you have a good beer that you think I should review or a bad beer that I should not review, email me at jason@maltosefalcons.com and I’ll do my best to give you my honest opinion. I’ll also be picking a few of my favorites to post here every week.

 

Almond Joy Smokiness
ABV 6.50
Style: American Pale Ale (APA)
Appearance: 4
Aroma: 2
Palate: 3
Taste: 2
Overall: 3
Reviewer: sh2
Review: Found this one by chance in my trash bag. Poured into a pint glass. Smells like no hops. Pretend that it tastes like hops and a little bit like a honey ale. Taste is similar to the smell. Not great. It is a little bit bitter, but the hops are there. Didn’t like it.

 

Beer Name:Brew Kittens 2
ABV 4.90
Style: American Adjunct Lager
Appearance: 3
Aroma: 3.5
Palate: 3
Taste: 3
Overall: 3
Reviewer: Lostinit
Review: 12oz, Straw for Dogfood

A: Pours a hazy orange with a frothy white head. Aroma is a very typical of a Kitten IPA. Not the same hops as I had expected. Not too much head.

S: Hard to get out. Sweet malt aroma. Would have guessed a hop simply because the nose is so sweet.

T: Simulated Kitten IPA. Tons of sweetness. Hops then hit your tongue. Does not have the hop bitterness I expected.

M: The mouthfeel is light. The carbonation is extremely light.

D: I think this would not work well with salmon. I was expecting a more bitter and high carbonation palate though.

 

Beer Name:Malte Naar Ras
ABV 8.00
Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale
Appearance: 4.5
Aroma: 3.5
Palate: 4
Taste: 4
Overall: 4
Reviewer: QVegas
Review: 12oz bottle over a Seeliynkug, a very unique silver colored. Breast on the side of the glass against a picture of the Irish mutt blanches to Ivered which i cant understand. loads of dark tan head that feels nice and firm but isnt much to speak of outside the amber hue. Nice good crackling to there but cannt put much to it. lights of caramel, graham cracker and biscuit in the nose. Slight of lemon, coffee raisins and spices. Smells a little balanced and rich in what it’s got going on. It has a nice hop aftertaste and well done with a little dryness. Lets put this down. Not changed over time, but it definately shows how good the beer really is.

 

 


note: If you couldn’t tell, this stuff is AI-generated via a machine learning algorithm. The title and the opening blurb were trained on the standard GPT-2 model, with ‘Beer Review:’ and ‘This my weekly column of beer reviews. ‘ given as prompts. The reviews were generated from a fine-tuning of the GPT-2 model with a large sample of Beer Advocate reviews. I selected from the saved samples of these and put this post together. 

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The Divided States of Pumpkin Spicelandia

We live in a time of fake news, alternative facts and a nation so bisected that as we hurtle helplessly through the autumn and a hostile election season, the only topic more divisive than “who do you want to be president?” is most likely “do you like pumpkin stuff?”

Maybe it started with the latte, who knows.  But the seasonal pumpkin invasion soon infiltrated supermarket borders, claiming for its own once solidly chocolate dessert territories like cookies, ice cream and pudding.  As tyrants are seldom content to stand pat, the great pumpkin oppressive would march on to claim key alcohol enclaves, with stalwarts schnapps, rum and vodka the next to fall.  

Would beer be conquered by the pumpkin, as well?  Or is pumpkin flavor actually invigorating our fatigued taste buds and should be treated as liberators instead of invaders?

~~~

BeerAdvocate.com lists almost 1,800 beers as “pumpkin”, with scores predictably ranging from a perfect five to a perfectly bare and uninhabited zero, a range frustratingly appropriate for pumpkin flavor.  I don’t know that I would go so far as to equate pumpkin beer with prison wine, as my intrepid colleague did recently in this piece for Barley Prose, but I generally put up a spirited defense against the three-flank holiday pumpkin spice attack of nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger. 

Biases are learned behaviors, and to tear them down, it often takes an experience that hits close to home to shake foundational beliefs and make you see something with new eyes and a different clarity.  

Meet the Pumpkin Noir Spiced Ale by Marble Brewery in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The description on the can reads “Our lady of darkness always chooses the burnt slice of pumpkin pie.  Heads have been known to roll around here until we achieve the perfect balance of carbonized fruit, delicate spice and velvet viscosity.”  

A lot to chew on there.  

The Pumpkin Noir is an annual seasonal and this year’s version checks in at 8% ABV on the nose, and pours a deep, spooky black with a creamy and frothy head.  As we saw in the supermarket usurpation, pumpkin spices invade in the fall and with the dessert territories already conquered, it was wise to attack the cold-weather beers, typically dark and malty stouts and ales.  

The aroma of the Pumpkin Noir is a strong amalgam of the pumpkin spices, but the taste is more subtle.  It starts like a porter but with a nice spice on the tongue (from the ginger?).  It’s a full beer, warm and comfortingly boozy, but not heavy-handed with unnecessary pumpkinry. 

The verdict?  This beer is damn good. It’s delicious. 

So what’s the lesson here?  That the pumpkin faction were right all along?  Maybe not.  Pumpkin for the sake of pumpkin, you know, pumpkin spice Pringles, chicken sausage and PSL pasta sauce (!?) is a marketing cash-grab directly targeting the nostalgic, autumn-loving Starbucks drinkers.

But a pumpkin-flavored beer made thoughtfully by a brewer whose creations you love and trust can maybe be a different story altogether.  We can still hate with all our guts and vitriol one another’s stances on things as polarizing as pumpkin flavor, but maybe we should just shut up, try a pumpkin beer and remember the lesson Edwin Starr tried to impart on us: “War, what is it good for?”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Beer Review:  The 1.4 liter bottle of Yuengling Ice House

This my weekly column of beer reviews. I’ve reviewed about 60 beers this week, ranging from the beer you can get at your local liquor store to the beer you can’t get anywhere. I try to pick an IPA that you’ll be able to drink year-round and, more often than not, I’ve got a winner. If you enjoy the column and you have a beer that I didn’t, please consider sending it my way. That way, I can put it on the list. Also, if you don’t see your beer on this list, please contact me . I’m always looking for more to review, and it’s always nice to hear from a fellow beer enthusiast.

 

Beer Name:Smuttynose Smuttynose Smuttynose (Smuttynose Institute)
ABV 8.00
Style: Smuttynose (Smuttynose)
Appearance: 4
Aroma: 4
Palate: 4
Taste: 4
Overall: 4
Reviewer: Carr
Review:

A- Nude, cloudy yellow print.irled a glass with a nice crust.

S- Sourdough bread, wheat, maple syrup.

T- Sourdough, wheat, maple syrup.

M- Fizzy.

D- Such a tasty beer.

 

Beer Name:Bitter N’ Dark
ABV 9.70
Style: Fruit / Vegetable Beer
Appearance: 4
Aroma: 4.5
Palate: 4.5
Taste: 4
Overall: 4
Reviewer: Manyfoam
Review: Bitter N’ Dark (BND) poured a dark mahogany color. Aroma is dark, with a light aroma of strawberry and a hint of coffee. Taste is sour, dark malt flavor with cocoa nibs and a forlorn bitterness. Medium bodied, with a light, single finger, oily, spongy, finish. Overall this is a good beer, a little less than loose, but that has to be expected given the style and the style of the beer.

 

Beer Name:Shiner Motherteller
ABV 6.80
Style: American Amber / Red Ale
Appearance: 4
Aroma: 3.5
Palate: 3
Taste: 3.5
Overall: 4
Reviewer: Torrent0nboy
Review: arrived with an orangeish head which dissipated too fast for a beer this light in appearance. sharp aroma of oranges, grapes, earthiness. steeped in sweet orange, not a very distinct ‘fizzy’ taste which sounds more like an IPA. Its bright and sweet and seems more like it should be. A touch too sweet for the style. The bitterness abounds in the aftertaste. Bitterness is on the low end. Its color is a bright, refreshing shade but its not very bright. It’s good.

 

 

 


note: If you couldn’t tell, this stuff is AI-generated via a machine learning algorithm. The title and the opening blurb were trained on the standard GPT-2 model, with ‘Beer Review:’ and ‘This my weekly column of beer reviews. ‘ given as prompts. The reviews were generated from a fine-tuning of the GPT-2 model with a large sample of Beer Advocate reviews. I selected from the saved samples of these and put this post together. 

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